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TALES FROM THE DUMP: Perfectly good hand sanitizer dispenser trashed at dump

by Walt Humphries

Sometimes, when you see something at the dump, it can take a few seconds to recognize what you are seeing. You can quickly go from being startled, to surprised and then it might even tickle your old funny bone.

That is what happened when I saw a hand sanitizer dispenser on its stand, just sitting there looking a little forlorn in the middle of the salvage area. I assume it came from some place where it had served a useful and noble purpose, until it got bashed around a little, and then was relegated to the dump.

However, a thought did race through my mind, “Hey, maybe the city really does want people to salvage more at the dump, so they went and provided a hand sanitizer dispenser.”

It was a fleeting thought, but who knows. Stranger fantasies have come true.

Not too many people are looking for a well-used hand sanitizer dispenser, unless they want to use it as a prop or decoration. I was tempted to take it for my Halloween display or just to put it somewhere around town as a bit of a joke, but decided not to.

If the city did supply hand sanitizer at the dump, what would be next?  Possibly a public washroom for visitors and salvagers to use? That would be nice. However, if the city can’t build a public washroom for downtown Yellowknife or for old town, I doubt very much that they would install one at the dump.

Our columnist found a hand sanitizer dispenser, complete with stand, at the Yellowknife dump. Photo courtesy of Walt Humphries.
Our columnist found a hand sanitizer dispenser, complete with stand, at the Yellowknife dump. Photo courtesy of Walt Humphries.

Here is a reality check. Most human beings have to go poop once a day and they have to urinate several times a day, depending on how much they eat and drink and the state of their gastronomic health. It has been this way for a long time. So, a civilized country should provide places for people to go to the bathroom. Decent, hygienic and comfortable places. Maybe that should be a fundamental human right. So, cities, towns and villages should have to provide public washrooms in their downtown areas and all the places where people congregate.

I find it almost incomprehensible that we are still wrestling with this concept and reality. Street people and the homeless should have access to public washrooms. Tourists and visitors should have access to public washrooms. Residents who go to old town, downtown, uptown or various outdoor places or events should have access to public washrooms. The fact that there are still no public washrooms open to everyone in downtown Yellowknife is just plain wrong.

People urinating and pooping in back alleys, in green spaces along the walking trails and at aurora viewing sites is wrong and either public washrooms or porta-potties should be provided.

It is as simple as that and this should be an issue for our municipal election. If we can afford money for sporting facilities, convention trips for councilors and a whole lot of other things, then we can afford to provide people with public washrooms.

Someone running for council should grab the slogan “Port-a-potties for all,” while it is still available.

Most candidates so far have some pretty lame and less then memorable slogans because they don’t stick in one’s mind. One of the most famous campaign slogans of all time was the 1928 one Herbert Hoover came up with for the presidential election in the United States: “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”

One could modify that to today’s world with: “A little pot in every kitchen and an electric car in every garage.”

Speaking of pot, personally I think everyone in the city over 60 should automatically get a prescription for medical marijuana “Free pot for seniors.”

That might generate a few votes or not. Slogans don’t have to make a whole lot of sense, they just have to be memorable and hopefully funny or make people feel good. I think the slogan “Free salvage at the dump for all” would get my vote.

I am surprised that no homeowner has stuck up a lawn sign for the candidates, “Want to talk to me, then grab a rake and help clean up my yard or grab a hose and we will wash my vehicles, while we talk.”

Not only is it memorable and funny, but practical too.